Why do we put labels on sexual roles?

Just because you may classify yourself as a top or bottom, or dom or sub, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a bit of the other during kinky play.

Indeed, Fetish.com says if you scrap the labels and switch things up, sex can be a whole lot more enjoyable…

The terms “topping” and “bottoming” paint service-oriented sex in black and white. They assume that each corresponding party has only one set of interests that don’t extend beyond their role.

Humans, however, are complex, and this is not the case for most people. Can a top love anal stimulation?

Can bottoms enjoy inserting things into their partners’ various orifices? Absolutely, and you don’t need to be a switch to incorporate diverse preferences without compromising the dynamic of a scene.

Getting what you want out of a scene

Our desires can sometimes exist as the opposite of our sexual personae, so it’s important to take them out of the context of a scene for this conversation with your partner(s) or yourself.

Instead, phrase your list of wants and needs with, “I want to receive,” or “I want to give.” The only roles that need to be considered here are whether you are the giver or recipient of the play at hand.

Once you know what specific sensations you and your partner(s) are chasing, you can then decide how you want to switch to give or receive them.

Switch it up: talk about how you want it

For many, sexual preferences are seen in terms of dominant and submissive behaviour, which means that while someone may like to be spanked, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll enjoy a spanking anytime, any place, by anyone.

If someone gets off from being in a position of dominance, then the way they receive a spanking must be done following that preference.

Switch and reverse roles. Woman with collar and chain.
Unleash your sexual desires. Switch up your roles during kinky play.

However, my Dom(me) will punish me if I spank her, but not if I was commanded to do so, especially if she holds my leash as I spank her, or if then I’m spanked in return for not taking her orders correctly.

The above is one example of service-oriented submission, which is a fancy term for doing things to your top from the bottom. The premise of service within the context of power exchange is existing solely to please your Mistress or Master, even though doing so also pleases you.

How can a sub go about initiating?

How does a sub go about anything? By asking permission, of course:

“Sir, may I please insert this toy inside of your butt?”

“You may, but only after getting it nice and wet first.”

How does said sub know their Master enjoys anal play?

They had a very open and clear conversation about what they want to experience before they started playing. During which, there was ample opportunity for the sub to say, “Initiating anal play might take me out of my subspace. Can you command me to use the toy on you instead?”

Get rid of the labels

Spanking is not only for bottoms, and receiving blowjobs is not just for tops. Getting spanked and getting blown are both acts of receipt.

Both require a giver and taker. The versatile aspect of these actions is the motive behind them.

Is Person A receiving a spanking because they were naughty or because they’re demanding one for pleasure?

Is Person B getting blown at their own accord, as a reward for behaving well, or as a means of humiliation?

Beyond the disassociation of behaviour from pre-conceived roles, there lies a broader variety of possible sensations that can be experienced within a power exchange.

Your physical position during a sex act (i.e. top or bottom) does not mandate your status as a Dominant or Submissive, your intent does.

Put differently, taking the act and the role as separate things opens you up to many more possibilities for interesting power play.

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